I went from a vintage 2007 (one of the sales clerks said "oldddd and wrinkled her nose" - Motorola flip phone to a Droid Charge. Talk about a learning curve. The sales lady turned me over to a couple of her younger colleagues when I had questions.
The girl was fairly patient and then I left with my new gizmo. Only to walk a couple of feet and realize I hadn't asked, how to get to the contact section. I walked back to the kiosk at Sam's Club and the young man happily said I will show you. Which he did, (fast). I am now old enough and self confident enough now to tell sales clerks - "Stop I need to do that again but slower, and I need to be the one doing it."
The young man looked at me and reluctantly said, "ok here" when I told him I wanted to do it, while he told me what to do. He became very anxious - he wanted to do it for me. I knew he was frustrated that I didn't get it. I could see from his expression it was painful for him to watch me struggle with such a basic step. I thought of my students and how often I have asked, "Do you have any questions?"
This new phone is a marvel. I figured out how to answer it. I accidentally discovered you can put facebook information into your phone contacts. Did you know that if you hit the right button and sync it to your phone, facebook information it will download all your friends information onto your phone? I didn't even know facebook knew their phone numbers.
I intensely dislike being intimidated by a machine. I downloaded the manual to my husband's new laptop. I bought it for him for Christmas. His technological comfort zone is running the computer remotely. "Honey, would you look up ______?"
When he opened the package he was both pleased and frustrated. He wanted one, but would probably have been happier with a new rifle. I wanted him to learn how to operate a computer and figured if he had one of his own he might try to figure it out. I also high-handedly told him I would find out when classes started at the Community Center.
His measured response, "I don't know why I have to take a class, you could teach me."
"Honey, I tried that. You tune me out. I think if someone else showed you, you might pay attention."
I really want him to have the skills to enjoy using a computer. He's not so excited. Kinda like my students when I tell them we are going to work on _______________. As an educator I realize my students need scaffolding. Sometimes I don't always get how much.
My helpful teaching style is kind of like my phone - I start to type and it tries to anticipate what I want to say. Only to make me frustrated because it adds letters I'm not interested in. I asked those young sales people how to turn off that function. They looked at me and said, "Just type. It will figure it out."
Hmm - I'm not so convinced.
I discovered that Verizon is offering a class on how to operate Droids during my winter break. I signed up. When they ask, "Are there any questions?" I'm going to say yes - "How do you shut off that function where it tries to type words for you? It really is annoying. I would rather do it myself."